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“Sport’s Answer to the Three-Ring Circus”: Indoor Track and American Identity in the 1950s

By Cat Ariail “Indoor track, sport’s answer to the three-ring circus, springs full-grown from the winter much as Athena sprang fully-armed from the head of Zeus,” asserted Sports Illustrated’s Tex Maule in 1958.[1] In a subsequent article, Maule suggested the sport “takes on a carnival air when the lineal descendants of the fleet cave man…

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Q&A with Natalia Petrzela on Fitness/Wellness History

By Andrew McGregor Two weeks into the new year, many of us are trying to stick to our resolutions. Getting in shape, working out more, and focusing on our health are often among the things we resolve to change or improve. As we embark on these challenges in 2017, I caught up with Natalia Mehlman Petrzela to…

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2016 WNBA Roundtable

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Sparks will travel to Minnesota to take on the Lynx in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. After defeating the Phoenix Mercury and Chicago Sky, respectively, each team goes into the finals looking to add another championship trophy to its team’s history. The Lynx are seeking their fourth championship since 2011,…

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The “Kaszubki Complaint”

By Cat Ariail After returning from the 1948 Olympic Games in London, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) sought feedback from athletes, presumably to use such information to improve logistics for future international competitions.  Frances Kaszubski, a shot putter and discus thrower, took full advantage of this opportunity. She composed a ten-page letter, detailing the indignities…

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Roundtable Reflections on the Rio Olympics, Part 2

This week we’re offering our thoughts and reflections on the recently completed Rio Olympics. Today is part two of our roundtable. It features a Q&A with four of our contributors — Cat Ariail, Josh Howard, Andrew McGregor, and Lindsay Parks Pieper — about their views on the Rio Olympics and its legacy as both scholars and sports fans. Feel…